These days, Paramore is a band on a mission. It's readily apparent in their new self-titled album, which comes after two years of turmoil, its rousing first single, "Now," and, appropriately enough, the accompanying music video, which premiered Monday (February 11) on MTV.
But, what, exactly, are Paramore out to prove? In the case of their album, one needs to look no further than the fact that it's a self-titled effort. The message is crystal-clear: After weathering the storm, Paramore are still standing, rather defiantly so. And as for their new video? Well, it would seem that they're suggesting that love conquers all ... which, come to think of it, ties in rather nicely with everything else involving their triumphant return.
Because, really, the relationship between Paramore's three remaining members — Hayley Williams, Jeremy Davis and Taylor York — is one built entirely on love, pure and simple: a love for their band, their music and, most importantly, their fans, who have stuck with them through thick and thin. And no matter how acrimonious their split with former mates Josh and Zac Farro may have been, it would seem that love really did win out. If the bond shared by the three (and their fans) wasn't so strong, well, you can bet we probably wouldn't be talking about Paramore in the present tense.
Director Daniel Cloud Campos was smart enough to realize this, and fills the "Now" video with militaristic metaphors aplenty. Here, Paramore square off against club-wielding soldiers, who could represent any of the challenges they've faced over the past few years, and emerge triumphant ... without striking a single blow. It's Williams' embrace of a stern-faced general — which comes after she has traversed a battlefield rife with explosions and bodies, and been beaten and (sorta) bloodied — that wins the day, a symbolic gesture that suggests true victory doesn't come with weapons, it comes with forgiveness, acceptance, and genuine love.
It's a striking message, and an equally striking video. Artful and intense, for sure, but really, the true joy to be found in "Now" comes when you read between the lines, see the parallels in Paramore's on-screen struggle and the one they endured in real life. Either way, the outcome is the same: they came out on top, on their own terms, with a grace that belies their years. They've won the battle, now they're out to win the war.
What do you think of Paramore's "Now" video? Let us know in the comments below!